by David Nunez
As the United States begins the process to slowly open back up- I am currently huddled indoors while the rain is coming down on western Kansas. While I imagine the incredible smell of a fresh coffee from my favorite coffee shop, I have decided to settle for a pot of David’s Premium Roast (just some roast blend I picked up from Wal-Mart, and no that is not the name of the coffee roast). Nonetheless, my hope is that you are able to enjoy a fresh cup while diving into the third and last installment of the Identity series we have been pouring over together.
As we have been walking through this identity series, we’ve walked through a consistent theme of the two previous blogs - What is your name? We walked through “The Father’s House” together - that the things we had held onto to claim our worth and identity have been replaced with the love of our Father. That, He is our source of identity, the world cannot supply that much power. He lowered Himself, sacrificed His only Son to be the sacrificial lamb Who’s resurrection life brings us back home. What joy!
We also walked through understanding that God is a man of His own word - We can rest assured that our Father in heaven won’t love us one minute and live in disgust with us the next. As believers, He calls us saints, not sinners. He calls us His children, and He isn’t going to pull the rug out from under us and say, “Psych!” Our King is so good. He’s known us from the beginning of the foundations of the world [see Eph. 1:4], even the parts we aren’t proud of. He loved us first, and in that love, traded beauty for ashes [see Isaiah 61].
A revelation that hit me this week is this: I am (identity statement) healed and forgiven, look where my chains are now. Death has no hold on me, because Your grace holds that ground, and Your grace holds me now.
“But God, being so rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ - by grace you have been saved - and raised us up with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…” Ephesians 2:4-6
Now we have arrived in Part 3 to “Whole Heart”, the last blog in a series based on Identity. I will be walking through a series of verses to bring about the immense love of our Father, that He brings about a change of Identity through LIFE! A literal transfer from a life in Adam (Sinner), and into life in Christ (Saint). [See 1 Cor. 15:22, 1 Cor. 15:45]
“But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, MUCH MORE have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.” Romans 5:15
What trespass? What man? Adam was “that” man, choosing independence, he ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, eternally separating himself, Eve, and everyone in all humanity born into the spiritual line of Adam - separated from God. [see Isaiah 59:2, Ephesians 2:1-3] What is the free gift? The free gift is righteousness, what we receive in full and an identity that we take ownership of at salvation. [see Eph. 4:24, Rom. 5:19]
Why do you have ‘much more’ in all caps? BECAUSE WE SHOULD BE EXPRESSING THIS TRUTH IN ALL CAPS! It puts such a massive amount of emphasis from the old to the new. Paul lays the ground work here saying,” This is where we all were at some point, and there is a need for life. There is a solution, HOW MUCH MORE does the King of glory, born apart from the life of Adam, reign over death? MUCH MORE!!!! A change in our identity is recognized by one word in Romans 5, Righteous!
“For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.” Romans 6:5,6
Old self? What is that? Who is that? It relates to our dead spirit - who we were before we became children of God. Our identity in the old was whatever we “do”. In Adam, we live a life in accordance to a doing system. Everything that I do, I am in a life in Adam.
Being crucified with Christ, everything about that old, unregenerate (dead) spirit that was passed down from Adam is toast. In exchange, Jesus comes to be our life and our new self is unified, infused, rivers of living water deep permeate our spirit. Nothing is wrong with our self as a believer; we do not need to die to self! Our new self reflects our identity in Jesus Christ [see 2 Cor. 3, Col. 3:9,10] A change in our identity reflects, the image of our Creator. (Colossians 3:10)
“Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.” Romans 7:4
In my own experience, following the law (10 commandments, Mosaic law) is so exhausting! It’s probably because no one (besides Jesus Christ) could ever live it perfectly! What if I told you that we are no longer bound to the law as believers in Jesus Christ? It says so in Romans 7! Why are we no longer bound to the law? Because the law has already done its job. The reason God had the Mosaic Laws in place was to bring about the need of a savior. We could never possibly fulfill the law, no matter how hard we tried! The law points to our need for the Holy Spirit to live inside of us and be our life! [see 2 Cor. 3:3,6]
“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons by whom we cry,’ Abba! Father!’ The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs - heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.”
Romans 8:14-17 These are some of my favorite verses in Romans.
Is it possible that we have the same royalty as Jesus Christ? YES! In fact, being heirs with Christ is listed more than once! [See Eph. 3:6, Gal. 3:29, Gal, 4:7, Titus 3:7, James 2:5, 1 Peter 3:7] To name a few! What an affirmation is this that we do have the ability to call this out, and not be shamed as being prideful, or self-righteous!
This is true, nowhere in the Bible is God calling us filthy worms as believers in Jesus Christ- nor is he calling us sinners saved by grace. Yes, while we were once sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) But we do not need to go around calling ourselves sinners when we have received the Holy Spirit! This is a phrase that gets my blood boiling (clearly), I am going to ask you, what is your name? As we have walked through this together, sinner hasn’t any room in your new identity.
It is like trying on our kindergarten clothes in our grown bodies- no one wants that visual, but here it is! It should make us feel uncomfortable to imagine what that would look like because kindergarten clothes would not fit any of us anymore! Neither does our old identity.
2 Peter 1:3-9
God truly loves our whole hearts, to its entirety. He has known from the beginning that we would need resurrection life, how great is it that He had provided that through His son Jesus, MUCH MORE is it that He has declared us righteous, holy, heirs to the throne, a royal priesthood, and so on! Sin has no hold on us, because His grace holds that ground- and His grace holds us now!